First Foray- Low Tech (new occupants 25/11/17) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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First Foray- Low Tech (new occupants 25/11/17)

Hi guys,
This is my first post on the forums but I've been reading quite a bit over the last month or two.

Edit: I thought I may as well update the first post to reflect what happens in other threads in this part of the forums.
I recently acquired a used custom tank that measures 900h x 450d x 600h mm (36x19x24) 68gl tank off a workmate. It held water during a test but I decided to add a little more silicone to ensure that things don't go awry when the tank is set up.

The Tank: 900x450x600mm (36x19x24in) 259L (68 Gallon) custom built marine aquarium that I got off someone I worked with. It held water during a test but I added more silicone to protect the seams.
Filter: Tidal 110
Heater: Ehiem Jager 200w
Hardscape: golden vine and locally quarried quartzite stone
Substrate: midnight pearl pea gravel
Lighting: Make My LED 10000K full spectrum freshwater light ( Australian company that makes custom aquarium lights. Each 30cm section contains 4x 6500K cool white LED's, 1x 470nm blue and 1x 660nm red)

Planned stocking:
15x Neon Tetra's
15x Black Skirt Tetra's
6x Julii Cory's
6x Panda Cory's
20x Red Cherry Shrimp
3x Dwarf Gourami (1 male 2 female)

Planting (planned):
Amazon Swords 1 or 2 different types
Crypts (a selection but probably wendtii if I can find one)
Red tiger lotus
Mayaca Fluvitus
Crypt Nana Petite
Flame Moss
A few more bunch plants and maybe some more crypts

Now for some progress pics:

Hardscape


And running fishless without the planned lights but the ones that came with the tank


New Light's things looking good

Last edited by drgarbanzo; 11-25-2017 at 07:37 AM. Reason: New Pics
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 11:36 AM
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10k lights? That's blue! Those are better suited for reef tanks. Freshwater is more in the 6-8k range.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-01-2017, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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MakeMyLed
This is the sight I got my info from and where I will order my lights from. I've heard good things from others that have the same lighting set ups on their tanks. Their planner recommended the 10K lights and it would appear that they recommend 12K LED's for marine tanks with an additional tube running nothing but red an blue LED's
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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I ordered the lights for the tank today and I hope they get here next week. Most of the light rating despite them being rated as 10K lights are 6500 white LED's. I visited a local landscape supply place today and picked up a bunch of quartzite for the total sum of $10. Being in Australia I've found that stuff like Mountain stone is $30 per stone and most of the other options are $10 per kilogram. I played around with the stones I got and I'm pretty happy with how it looks atm.



I know that the chunk sitting on top of the large stone will need to be secured because it is sitting on top of the other rock without any other attachments. It is mostly there to cover the cut part of the gold vine that I purchased last week. Am I on the right track?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-06-2017, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Current status:

Running fishless with the knackered T8 that came with the tank so I can figure out how things work and see what it's like lighted. The driftwood needs more time with the rock sitting on top of it because it was bobbing like a cork when I first filled it despite soaking it beforehand and it showing signs of being willing to sink. Next week the first plants should go in but I'll keep cycling in the mean time.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-07-2017, 12:52 AM
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Are you able to get some plant mass in there? With nothing to compete algae will have a pretty good lead. Even if it's just wisteria and ludwigia I would get something in there.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-07-2017, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dude1 View Post
Are you able to get some plant mass in there? With nothing to compete algae will have a pretty good lead. Even if it's just wisteria and ludwigia I would get something in there.
It might have to wait until monday when I'm coming home from work but I probably can sort something out. I'm not super keen to put plants in until my proper lights turn up which should be sometime next week. In the mean time I might run without lights so that the algae doesn't have too much of a chance to get a hold of things.
Would Mayaca work as well? That was one of the plants I was going to add in cause I like the look of it.

Last edited by drgarbanzo; 10-07-2017 at 01:21 AM. Reason: Changing things
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Small update. I got a bunch of ludwigia scarlet along with a couple of bunches of Mayaca Fluvitis. The Mayaca in particular is hanging in there with the current lights but will do much better once the proper lights turn up which get shipped on monday. I also got gifted a piece of mekong driftwood which has made the water look like tea but I'll live with it for now.
I started dosing stability yesterday after the tank had been running with nothing but fish food for a week or so. Ammonia is currently reading 0ppm, nitrates 0ppm and before I started doing stability I had 40ppm of nitrates which dropped to 20ppm today. If things continue on the same trend I might be looking at adding 6 black widow tetras before the end of the weekend and seeing how they go. I was going to do neon's but research tells me they are sensitive where as the widows aren't as fussy. If they do well I'll continue adding stuff gradually along with the rest of my plants once I have my lights.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Once again another small update. Cycle is still running although Stability seems to be working it's way through but ammonia today was only 0.5ppm and nitrates are at 40ppm without a sign of nitrites. I managed to end up with a few pond snails in the tank which I assume came with the plants. They seem happy enough for the moment and aren't increasing exponentially so I'll monitor things and see what happens.
In other news my lights finally shipped today and should be here on Thursday at the latest. When I ordered them close to 2 weeks ago I wasn't sure what the PAR ratings would be like but knew that the lights had a decent reputation amongst other fish and planted tank keepers in Australia. I got access to their not fully public website to get the documentation and software off and noticed that they've added PAR ratings for their set ups. With what I've ordered I should be looking at 98 PAR at a distance of 60cm which should allow me to tailor things so that they suit my eventual planting plans. The scarlet Ludwigia continues to shed leaves but I hope that it stabilises while the Mayaca Fluvitis is growing under the crappy lighting it currently receives.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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The tank is cycled and the plants are digging the new lights. The mayaca in particular has shot up since Wednesday with the extra lighting. Most of the algae is starting to die off as well.

I was hoping to start adding more plants and start slowly stocking the tank now that things are stable but life had other ideas. On Tuesday we found out they're selling the house we currently rent which is a pain. Rather than stick around we've decided to move. The tank will be kept running in the mean time to help me dial things in and keep the cycle and plant growth happening at the same time. With nothing but the tank and a few plants to move it shouldn't be too bad and it allows me to ditch the pond snails that hitchhiked into my tank with the plants when I got them.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-04-2017, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Tank is still pretty much idling as d-day for the move approaches. Tuesday the tank will get moved and then set up in the new place. In order to move the tank I'm gonna have to empty the gravel into buckets as the tank ways a ton just by itself. Gravel will go into a bucket, filter media in a cooler, rocks in a box lined with a garbage bag to keep them moist and the plants in a tupperware container. I'm hoping things will be ok as the tank will be totally shut down for 24-48hrs. Thankfully there's no livestock outside of unwanted pond snails so the only thing I need to look after is the beneficial bacteria and the few plants that are in there atm
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2017, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Finally an update with pictures and some livestock.
The bunch plants that made the move with the tank didn't at all survive so I replaced them with the same yesterday but replaced the ludwigia with a narrow leaved variety. I also added in a pair of swords, crypt balenese and a tissue cultured tub of hair grass. Everything is going alright so far and the parameters have remained stable enough and have grown enough algae to think about some livestock action. 3 oto's joined the tan yesterday. Two of them are super active and the last is a little less so but I'll see what happens over the coming days and weeks.
Finally some photo's:

A FTS 15/11


Oto's:


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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Shuffled the deck chairs a little during a water change. The ludwigia all uprooted under the flow from the filter so they got moved sideways and the amazon sword got put in it's place. I'm starting to like how the tank looks overall really
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-25-2017, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Another week another update. I've continued my slow stocking of the tank along with adding some more plants to keeping bringing things together. When I went to pick up the neons on Wednesday the employee mentioned that moss should be coming in in the next couple of days and I'm glad I dropped in yesterday because they had a good selection but not massive amounts of each one. I ended up getting 2 portions of flame moss which I hope spread over the wood nicely.
Onto the photo's:
Neons prior to the addition of the moss

This photo came about because I wanted to check that all of the neons where still alive and it was easier to do in photo form.

FTS after moss additon


Close up of the moss with my terrible gluing job on display. I tried to use as little as I could but it may have been too much


Overall I'm happy with how things are progressing. This being my first tank I'm still taking baby steps and may need to cut back on the ferts a little because it's gone from no algae to both green spot and thread in the space of a day so I'll hold back for now and see what happens.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Another week and time for an update. Things are still trucking along pretty well I added the last plants along with a small colony of shrimp to get the colony going before I add in the bigger tetra's who like to eat shrimp. It hasn't all been smooth sailing though as I've lost two since I added them in and being natural coloured they're pretty tricky to find unless they're dead. I do have a good news story in that I have a berried female so I hope that things go to plan and I end up with more shrimp.

Onto the pictures:

FTS


Left hand side showing the new Crypts I picked up. Anyone have an ID?


The other new addition was a tiger lotus. I uprooted it during the water change so it's not quite sitting right atm


And lastly my berried shrimp. I thought I'd lost a stack of them but given their colour they're pretty difficult to spot
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